View Full Version : Pull-buoys, kick boards, fins, and paddles

July 14th, 2002, 08:28 AM
Pull-buoys, kick boards, fins, and hand paddles are not allowed in the competition pool or warm-up pool. This statement is always included in the “Warm-up Procedures” under the “Meet Information” of all Nationals (and is enforced in many of the local meets).

I have looked in the USMS Rule Book and was not able to find a rule(s) that bans any of the above mentioned items from warm-up at meets. Rule 102.4 covers Warm-up/Warm-down procedures (Availability and Procedure) and Rule 104.5 covers the warm-up schedule (under Conduct of the Championship Meet), but neither specifically rule bans the use of pull-buoys, kick boards, fins, and hand paddles. The rule book index offers no further help (“Safety” offers no help).

If there is a rule banning these, where is it?

July 14th, 2002, 10:30 PM
Steve -

I don't that there is a rule regarding the use of equipment such as kicboards, pull buoys, paddles, or fins. Don't know that it matters either. There are two reasons why equipment is not allowed.

Most pools that host the nationals are very careful with their equipment. Touchpads can be fairly easily damaged by someone hitting the pads with fins or paddles. Many of the facilities have the pads in during warm-up. I suppose if you would like to be responsible to replace a $1,000 touchpad, you could try it, but the facility personnel will ask you not to use the equipment anyway.

Second reason - safety. if only a few percent of the people at nationals wanted to use their warm-up equipment, the deck would be clogged with boards, paddles, fins, etc. to the point that there would be safety issues asscociated with tripping, kicking, falling, etc. over the equipment. When you ahve more than 600 people trying to warm up at the same time, it just is not a good idea to create hazards.

It sounds from your posting that, if there is no rule, you might force the issue and use equipment. I hope that is not your intention. A meet director's job is tough enough without having people decide they are above the rules and requirements that are posted and written. No one makes up these requirements because they want to make life miserable for the swimmers. there are good reasons for every requirement set forth at nationals.

Paul Windrath

July 15th, 2002, 06:44 AM
There are lots of things that are part of the meet info for Nationals that aren't in the rule book. EVERYTHING in the meet info ihas been approved by the meet director, the Championship Committee and others in the national organization. In addition, every facility has local rules and policies in place that all swimmers are expected to abide by - no running on the deck, for instance. And, of course, there are inherent limitations on conduct, dictated by common sense, that will never show up on paper or on signs - no canoes or tractor tire inner-tubes allowed during warm-up, for instance.

Any swimmer unwilling to adhere to all rules printed in the meet info, in place at the facility and dictated by common sense should refrain from entering the meet.

Rob Copeland
July 15th, 2002, 09:26 AM

While there is not any reference in the rule book which deals with the use of these devices, the LMSC hand book (used by LMSC officials Sanction Chair, etc.) has a section called “Suggestions for warm-ups for local meets”. This includes the following suggestion:
“5. No hand paddles shall be allowed. Kickboards and pull buoys are permitted.”

It is my understanding that we implemented this as a safety precaution for the swimmers in the pool. As for kickboards and pull buoys, the suggestion for local meets is to allow these devices, however, this is discretionary and the meet director may choose (or be dictated by the facility) to allow or prohibit these. At larger meets (zone, national, world) it has been determined that it is a safety concern to have a large number of kickboards, paddles, pull buoys on the deck around the starting and turn walls. I hope that we can all agree that 300+ kickboards/pull Buoys (one third of the people at a 1,000 person event) could create a clutter, which could increase the potential of an accident.

And back to the point of a rule, in the Rule Book – Article 202 states: “The conduct of a sanctioned event shall be in strict compliance with applicable USMS swimming rules and administrative regulations.” Administrative regulations include those published by the National office, the zone, the LMSC and the Meet Host (on the Entry Form and at the venue). So the short answer is that these devices are prohibited by Administrative Regulation and not by Rule.

July 15th, 2002, 06:34 PM
To follow up on Emmitt's point about facility rules:

We all know about USMS's insurance coverage and I'm sure most facilities have their own insurance (they wouldn't be around very long without it). I'd be surprised if either USMS's insurer or the facilities' didn't have something to say about warm-up procedures.

sarah tyler
July 16th, 2002, 09:07 AM
the thing that concerns me most during warm-up at meets, local or national is swimmers entering the pool by diving or jumping.

July 16th, 2002, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by sarah tyler
the thing that concerns me most during warm-up at meets, local or national is swimmers entering the pool by diving or jumping.


Diving during warmups IS prohibited by the rules. Article 102.4 deals with warmup/warmdown, and subsection .2 says "Swimmers must enter the pool feet first in a cautious and controlled manner. Diving shall be permitted only in the designated lanes."

You're right to be concerned about this, and so was the House of Delegates however many years ago it was that this rule was passed. That's why it is a hard-and-fast rule, and not just an administrative policy. It is disheartening, though, how many people either disregard this rule, or else are unaware of it. It's always printed in the meet information, but we all know that no one actually reads the meet information. ;) As a meet director, if I see someone diving in during warmups, I give them a warning. I haven't yet had to throw anyone out, but I'm prepared to do so if they continue to deliberately disregard the rules and jeopardize everyone's safety.

sarah tyler
July 16th, 2002, 09:58 AM
exactly. I know it is prohibited, and rightly so. i wish the enforcing of that rule was more stringent at every level of meet. While I agree with the issues with fins, paddles, pull bouys, etc, getting landed on by an air borne swimmer could be disastrous.

Peter Cruise
July 16th, 2002, 09:28 PM
I am so disappointed! There I was planning to take a canoe into warmups & Emmett had to go and spoil my fun...it would be very cool & so much more pleasant than actually getting wet during warmup. Now what about a jetski in the sprint lane...

Rob Copeland
July 17th, 2002, 08:30 AM
Now, Emmett did not say that canoes, jet ski’s or Bass boats were not allowed during warm-ups. However, you may want to check with the meet director before you bring in your sports yacht.

If you are interested in bringing your barge to a meet, may I recommend you look into Open Water swimming. Many meet directors not only allow but encourage the participants to bring water vessels:D

July 17th, 2002, 02:41 PM

Lest anyone misconstrue your words...

It IS acceptable (though not ideal) to SWIM like a barge - in pool meets or in open water swims. :)

July 31st, 2002, 07:14 PM

I think that a good point was hit here...DIVING into the pool during warmups, other than a designated lane. Several times during meet warmups, I nearly got hit when someone wasn't looking and nearly dove on top of me.

I suggest taking this one step further and extending it to practices. Again, several times people don't look, and can nearly go right on top of someone else. This is especially true in long course, when we have fewer lanes. I know it may be cold out, or someone may want to get right in, but feet first is the safest way to enter the pool.

Tim Murphy

August 2nd, 2002, 01:48 PM
I for one do not look forward to being decapitated by another swimmer, in an already crowded warm-up lane, because he or she determined that wearing paddles during warm-up would make them swim faster in the meet.

August 2nd, 2002, 05:00 PM
We need to suggest that swimmers slide in feet first instead of jump in like a cannonball which is just as dangerous as diving. There have been times when I was swimming into the wall (I only breathe on the left), a swimmer jumped in a hu causing a huge tidal wave and I got a mouthful of water. This is just a matter of be considerate of others in the pool.